There are more than 200 types of cancer all caused by cells in your body acting in a different way. However, I would tell you the most common ones. But before going to that let’s enlighten on what causes cancer.
Is cancer a disease?
Yes. Cancer is a disease of the cells in the body. The body is made up of millions of tiny cells. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body. It could be in your organs, bones, muscles, skin, and blood which are made up from different specialized cells.
What causes cancer?
We all have a risk of developing cancer. Many cancers seem to develop for no apparent reason. According to cancer research, certain risk factors are known to increase the chance that one or more of your cells will become abnormal and lead to cancer. Risk factors include the following:
Every day, we are exposed to both natural and man-made forms of radiation which indeed are harmful to us. Radiation can also come from medical imaging procedures used for X-rays and CT scans. Radiation can potentially cause cells in the body to undergo changes. This may increase your likelihood of developing cancer. However, it can be treated with the help of x –rays or radiation called radiotherapy.
How you can protect yourself
During these imaging tests, you can follow the safety measures to protect from radiation by using a lead apron. A cell is damaged by carcinogen (chemical, radiation, etc) and make it more likely to turn into a cancerous cell.
Tobacco is in-fact a leading cause of cancer that taking a troll for so many people around the globe. Tobacco is so impactful that can cause many types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, larynx (voice box), mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, and cervix. You would be surprised to know that tobacco smoke contains at least 69 carcinogens (cancer-causing agents)
How you can protect yourself
You should quit smoking. Having said that I know the fact quitting smoking immediately sounds daunting. But all you can do is to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Cigarette smoke not only harms you but also increases the risk of lung cancer for your loved ones. Seek professional help to quit or rope in your family and friends to support you.
Diet and other lifestyle factors can increase or decrease the risk of developing cancer.As we all know that fruits and vegetables are good for our health. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, and also contain chemicals called antioxidants. They may protect against damaging chemicals that get into the body. However, there is a negative aspect to it. Eating too much fatty food possibly increases the risk of developing certain cancers. Besides this obesity, lack of exercise can cause the risk of having cancer.
Sun and UV Exposure
Frequent direct exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation either by being out in the sun or can damage your skin and increase your risk of getting skin cancer.
How you can protect yourself
There is a number of ways by which you can protect yourself from UV radiation. You should cover up yourself by wearing long-sleeves shirts, sarongs and long shorts. Apply suncream lotion on your face that is water resistant which protects the radiation from the sun. You can also slip on your shades for your eyes need protection too.
Common types of cancer
- Bone cancer: The foundation of many cancers starts with bones. The most common types osteosarcoma and Ewing tumors occur most often in children and. If you have bone cancer then you are likely to have pain in your bones. The area usually feels tender at first. Then the pain becomes an ache that doesn’t go away. You might feel a lump too.
- Brain Tumour: As the name suggests this type of cancer starts with a brain. They are classified as either benign or malignant. The benign ones tend to grow more slowly but if they are completely removed they are less likely to come back. The malignant ones tend to grow faster, sometimes spread and may come back after treatment.
Symptoms of Brain Tumour include-
- Sickness, drowsiness, fits, and headaches that you feel different to normal headaches
- You have problems with your vision, balance or coordination
- You encounter complications with your emotions, behavior or memory
- Pain, weakness, numbness or strange sensations in your arms or legs.
Cervical cancer is the type of cancer that starts in the cervix, the narrow opening into the uterus and is often caused by a virus known as HPV. They can damage cells in the cervix and eventually cause cancer if they’re not treated on time. Bleeding in the vagina is, in fact, is a main cervical cancer symptom. Other symptoms can include pain in your pelvis and pain during sex and a bad-smelling vaginal discharge.
As the name suggests skin cancer is destructive cancerous (malignant) growth of the skin.There are two different types of skin cancer – melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma starts in skin cells called melanocytes. Non-melanoma cancers (which are more common in general but less common in young people) start in other types of skin cells. Both types can be caused by exposure to the sun. Skin cancer can be cured if it’s found and treated early.
Symptoms of skin cancer or signs of skin cancer
- You would see a growth of pink skin or lesions with raised borders that are crusted in the center
- A scar resemblance to a white, yellow, or waxy area with a poorly defined border
- Scaly red patches with irregular borders
- A raised growth with a rough surface
Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles (testes), which are located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include
- You would get a lump or enlargement in either testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- Collection of fluid in the scrotum
Thyroid cancer is a cancer disease that you get when abnormal cells begin to grow in your thyroid gland. This type of cancer is shaped like a butterfly and is located in the front of your neck.
Irrespective of the cancer type and causes relevant to the same, it has been observed that healthy and balanced lifestyle with insistence on the right dietary option can go a long way in preventing cancer.